By Chef Lauren Cox, Closer to Your Food

Foods to avoid:

  • Gluten
  • Casein
  • Refined Sugars
  • Corn
  • Soy
  • Chemical preservatives and fillers
  • Food Dyes

As more and more children in North America are being diagnosed with spectrum disorders, families and practitioners are starting to take a closer look at children’s nutrition and lifestyles. Much research is being dedicated to show how some foods specifically interact with children in their digestion, immune and neurological function. What many physicians can agree on is that avoiding the abovementioned ingredients can be very helpful to children in general, but especially to those with spectrum disorders.

Foods that should be encouraged in their diets:

  • High in good fats – organic, pasture-fed eggs, flax, chia, walnuts, oily wild fish, etc. This is very important for neurological function.
  • Oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) values, or antioxidants – herbs and spices, berries, greens, etc.
  • Some organic and whole grains – quinoa, organic brown rice, nut flours, etc.
  • Low in sugars, which should come almost entirely from whole food sources – fruits, dates, real honey, etc. The idea here is to keep inflammatory responses regulated.
  • Fluids- often overlooked, it is imperative to keep children hydrated so that their body’s detoxification pathways can function correctly. If kids are not good about drinking plain water try these tips:
    • Add tasteless liquid chlorophyll and call it magic green water, Hulk, Ninja Turtles are whatever they can relate to
    • Add in their favorite fruit
    • Do 50/50 organic juice to filtered water
    • If they are really tough, use a natural dye-free electrolyte drink or even popsicles
  • Supplements- be sure to work with your physician on providing your child with the supplements they need to help them heal and provide the nutrients that they are not able to get from their diets alone. There are several great brands that are specifically formulated for spectrum disorders that are flavorless and easy to take. Watch Dr. Jared Skowron’s tips on how to mix vitamins for kids.

Overall, what makes the most sense is following a ketogenic and whole food diet. This essentially calls for taking nearly all processed foods out of your child’s diet, which is a good habit for everyone in the home as well. If you are discouraged, there are some wonderful resources out there that will help you transition to a whole food kitchen at home. Some of our favorite sites are:


Closer to Your Food is a wellness blog focused on eating and cooking for health and sustainability with recipes and lifestyle tips formulated around a plant-based diet and home-grown local foods. Chef Lauren Cox holds a B.A. from the le Cordon Bleu in Culinary Management with over 8 years of fine dining experience in private dining, catering and Michelan star restaurants.



*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.